Buying Property in Belize is easy. First you will need to decide which part of the country you would like to purchase your property. Best way to do this is to come done and spend a week or two in Belize, drive around, see the country, see what it has to offer, and then you will know where you want to purchase your property. You should also do your own research on the Internet. Spend some time browsing real estate sites and looking at land and prices for the area that interests you. Once you know where you would like to purchase your property then you should contact us and tell us what you are interested in purchasing.
Under Belize’s British Common Law System, purchasing property in Belize is similar to purchasing in USA and Canada. One of the first things you should do is to request to see a “listing authorization agreement” for the property you are interested in purchasing. The agent should have one which will confirm to you that the agent is authorized to negotiate on the sale of the property. It will also state the measurements, lot or parcel number, asking price, terms, location of the property and the length of the agreement. It provides valid information and security so that you are confident that you are negotiating with someone who is authorized.
When you have identified the property and are ready to purchase then you will need to sign a Purchase Agreement which an agent will present to you, this agreement is between the seller and the purchaser and states the buyer’s terms if there are any, deposits, escrow agent, agent’s instructions, closing date, what happens to the deposit if the buyer or seller defaults, possession date and other relevant information. This document needs to be signed in the presence of a Belizean Justice of the Peace and two originals should be signed with the purchaser and seller each keeping one of the agreements and your agent will keep a copy.
Once you have purchased the property then you will need to transfer the property into your name or company There are several land systems in Belize under which a person can acquire title. These include:
1. CONVEYANCE / MINISTER’S FIAT GRANT
Where title to the property being sold is in the nature of a Minister’s Fiat Grant and Deed of Conveyance, the transfer is affected through the preparation of a Deed of Conveyance, which is registered at the Lands Registry in Belmopan City, Cayo District, Belize
2. A TRANSFER CERTIFICATE OF TITLE (TCT) / FIRST CERTIFICATE OF TITLE (FCT)
Where title to the property being sold is a TCT or FCT, the transfer is affected through the preparation of the requisite forms under the General Registry Act including:
1. The application to transfer title to land
2. Memorandum of Transfer
3. Affidavit of Seller of land
4. Affidavit of Buyer of land
These forms are registered at the Lands Registry in Belmopan City, Cayo District, Belize.
3. A LAND CERTIFICATE
Where the title to the property being sold is a Land Certificate, the transfer is affected through the preparation of the requisite Transfer of Land form, pursuant to the Registered Land Act. This form is filed at the Lands Registry in Belmopan City, Cayo District, Belize.
Non-nationals of Belize can acquire land on the same terms as Belizean nationals, without the need for any license, save and except:
1. Central Bank Approval
2. In the case of national lands, an Alien’s Landholding license pursuant of the National Lands Act.
Closing Fees for purchasing Belize real estate is 5% of selling price, which is known as Government Stamp Duty. The first US$ 10,000 is Exempt. Registration and Filling fees are usually around $50.00 US. Attorney fees, if you decide to use one, are usually 2% of the purchase price.